On the Hunt for Horse Killers

Citizens, police band together to catch horse slaughterers

By Jeff Burnside and Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Aug 20, 2009  |  Updated 7:54 AM EDT
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Residents Hunt Horse Killers

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Eighteen horses have been killed in Miami-dade in the past few months, and concerned citizens want answers and arrests.

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Residents Hunt Horse Killers

Residents are teaming up with Miami-Dade detectives to catch the people responsible for the death of 18 horses.
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Several concerned citizens met with detectives last night to figure out what they can do to stop the senseless slaughter of horses on the roadways and farms in remote Miami-Dade.

Horse owners wanted to hear what police are doing about the grisly string of killings which have claimed the lives of 18 horses in the past few months.

"We have a very active investigation going on and we're very concerned about this and we want to make arrests on this case," Lt. Sheree Dibernardo, of the Miami-Dade Police Dept., assured the citizens.

Police believe most of the horses have been killed for their meat, which is possibly being sold on the black market. Owners have awoken to find the lifeless horse carcasses carved up, limbs chopped off, and hunks of meat missing.

Some concerned residents have organized their own night patrol, trying to catch the horse killers in the act.

Julia Yapell heads out several nights a week, and she says it's all too easy for someone to grab a horse by the halter.

"Rule number one: Don't leave your horses in the the pasture with their halter on," Yapell said.

The Miami-dade Police Department says they have four detectives working on the case and they're getting inundated with tips.

"What I can tell you at this point is we have a very active investigation going on and we have identified many people that we believe are involved," said Lt. Dibernardo. "And that's about all I can get into as far as that beause it is an active investigation."

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